Daybook No. 96

Outside my window::

Cloudy. It’s not supposed to rain, but we’ll have clouds all day. I’m not opposed to that.

Wearing::

My PJs–a black t-shirt and Disney PJ pants. I’m unoriginal. 🙂

Reading::

I just finished Emma: A Modern Retelling, and I did enjoy it. At first I was sort of concerned because Emma was really different from how she is in Austen’s original, but it all calmed down by the end of the story, and, as always, Alexander McCall Smith is magical. For my birthday I also received Station Eleven: A novel, (which I’m probably the last person to read) so that’s on my list, as well as At the Water’s Edge: A NovelAnd I’m reading Ivanhoe (Penguin Classics). I’m reading it very slowly, a few chapters at a time before I go to bed. I’ve found that this is the best way to work through Big Fat Novels for me, other than a road trip. Small doses, and I get through it that way. 🙂

In the CD player::

The Lion King. Really. I don’t know why, but it’s been speaking to me lately.

Writing::

So, thanks to Cristina (again!) I have a new plan for posting. This week is a little off because I had clinic yesterday and I was cranky afterwards so I didn’t get a lot of posting done. But the new plan is to have fresh content on the blog here and the author site twice a week (on both), with Thursdays being the days I work on my manuscripts. So if you don’t already subscribe to the author site, do it, so you can get that content as well. I won’t always cross-link over here. Read this post for more on how Important the Author Site Is. 

There is also going to be some redesign happening here, so if you see any crazy test posts or changes, fear not!

Creativity::

About to start the third piece of the housewarming gift. I hope to have a few rows cast on before tomorrow’s Yarn Along.

Fitness/Food::

Steering back toward a better diet, which means really cutting back on carbs and other empty calorie snack things. Time to focus again on whole foods and protein. Wheeeeee. Of course this does mean strawberry and mint omelets, which are yummy!

Pondering::

So many people I know are going through hard seasons. Really hard seasons. Join me in praying for them?

HardThingsJustKeepCallingYou

Plans for the week::

Writing. Working out. Lunch with Dad on Thursday. The normal fun things. 🙂

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Daybook No. 95

Easter Sunday 2015

Easter Sunday 2015

Outside my window::

Cloudy. It’s going to rain. Because it’s April and that’s what the weather does in Ohio in April. 🙂

Wearing::

jeans, an emerald green tank top. When I go out later a navy blue v-neck cardigan will go on top, and I’ll have navy flats. Navy is my bag, today. 🙂

Listening to::

The Hallelujah chorus from Messiah. Because, YES.

Reading::

The Best YesFood: A Love Story

Writing::

I’m taking part in WordPress’s writing 101 course, so there may be some of those posts going up on the blog throughout the month. You’ve been warned.
Also! The Fantastic Cristina is helping me make this site and my author site better and Much More Awesome. Check out the author site and please give it a follow! 🙂

Around the house::

Post-Easter cleaning. I had the place looking really good (for the most part) pre-triduum, but now there’s stuff that needs done from the Triduum fall out. 🙂 Like tossing shoes that are broken/don’t fit/I can’t wear anymore, sorting clothes into clean/need washed piles, things like that. And meal planning.

Plans for the week::

It’s birthday week! So I’m going out to dinner tonight with a friend, then dinner with the family on Thursday (actual Birthday). This weekend CCD is back, so I have to update my records, and I’m teaching the Lay Dominican novices about the Liturgy of the Hours and lectio divina, so I have to prep all that as well. Whew! And baseball season starts!

Daybook No. 88

Don'tLetTheEveryDayRoutines

Outside my window/health stuff::

Lots of wet, wet snow. I had a doctor’s appointment this morning and Dad drove me. It took us almost an hour to go 12 miles. Sigh. But we made it on time and in tact, so that was good. (Dad gets a wee bit overprotective about me and snow. I love him for it.) Anyway, my PFTs are up two points, so that’s a good thing. We’re happy about that. Most of the visit was spent talking about the switch from my current insurance to the new insurance and how I may be without insurance for a period during this transition, which makes us slightly nervous, because MEDS. Like, Meds I need to Keep The Lungs Happy. Sigh. But we’ll work it out. I can get the meds….somewhere. I think. I hope!  There’s getting them and then there’s paying for them. Two separate things. But we’re working on it. Yes. We are.

Wearing::

Jeans, SmartWool socks (I LOVE these things), and a turquoise/teal sweater with a cute little bow details. I try to look cute but also utilitarian for clinic, because you have to take off clothes for the X-ray, and if they want anything else, you want to be fairly comfortable but presentable. (Sometimes I’ve had bronchs when I’ve been all prettied up for work, and those always suck, because you’re in nice clothes that then get all wrinkly because you have to take them off and put them in a bad. Sigh.)

Reading::

Re-reading Lara Casey’s Make it Happen, and just about done with Pope Benedict XVI’s Prayer .

Creativity::

Still working on the cowl and bookmarks. Yay! 🙂 And adding new sections to the BOOK.

Around the house::
The tree is finally down! I vacuumed the section of the rug that was under it but good, let me tell you. I have to do some more loads of dishes, because you know, I cooked last night, and that means more dishes than my dishwasher can handle.

Meals for the week::

Um, right now, I’ve got nothing. I had chicken piccata with roasted fennel last night, and that was good. Tonight might just be quick two bean chili. I need to make my list and go shopping tonight or tomorrow.

In the CD player::

The Original Broadway Cast of Parade. The best show I have ever done, period.

Final scene of Parade (I'm in the blue pinafore in the center).

Final scene of Parade (I’m in the blue pinafore in the center).

Bible reading::

I’m reading the letters of St. Peter this week and probably next week, and then it’s a study of Esther.

Daybook No. 85

Daybook No. 85

WhatFeelsLikeLosingIsReallyGaining

Outside my window:

It’s that washed-blue sky, light clouds. Winter is coming, though (a la Game of Thrones….). We’re getting snow tonight, and tomorrow, and on Wednesday the low is supposed to be -4. Yeah, that’s right. -4.

Brrrrr.

So I am mostly staying in. Not that that’s a problem!

Wearing::

I just finished a yoga class (via a website), so yoga pants in a bright orangey-red, and a long-sleeved gray t-shirt, because, again, it’s cold. 🙂 No makeup. Contacts are in though, so I’m not being totally slackerly in the looks department. 🙂

Reading::

The Death Class, which is really great so far. I mean sort of addictive. It was hard to stop and take yoga class and eat lunch! Also reading Pope Benedict XVI’s general audiences on Prayer, for my spiritual reading. After Class, I think I’m starting either Middlemarch or Our Mutual FriendMay. May not. 🙂 And still reading Elizabeth of York, for my dash of British history.

Around the house::

Today is the normal mop/vacuum/dust/sweep/take the trash out before it snows combo. As part of this, I’m also doing some decluttering as I go about, particularly in the Book Room and in the DVD collection. I also have some plans for wall art–things to hang, etc., but it requires getting frames. I’ve always wanted photos and posters and things like that going up the staircase, so we’ll see how far I can get in that goal. I have some gorgeous pictures of Paris that I bought at the city art festival years ago, but never framed, so those are a top priority, because they’re too pretty to just be sitting around despondently.

Writing::

I have two writing goals–blogging three days a week, and working on the Book for 30 minutes every day, before noon. So far I have hit both goals. However, it’s only January Fifth. 🙂 Generally I’ve been doing my Office, my lectio (Bible reading), and then going for the writing. So far this is a good plan (because I don’t even need to get dressed to write, right? I can just sit here with my coffee in my PJs!)

From the kitchen::

Here’s this week’s meal plan, dinner-wise:

Tonight: Beef chili

Tuesday: Sesame Turkey Meatballs from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook.

Wednesday: Jamie Oliver’s stew. (When it’s -4, you want stew. That’s that.)

Thursday: Mustardy pork chops (a favorite around here)

Friday: Lunch–spicy shrimp with yogurt. I might be going out that night with the parents or having dinner at a friend’s, so I’m not entirely sure what dinner looks like.

Saturday we’re going to the symphony, so we’ll be eating out post Mass.

One of the great things I did over the weekend, when I saw the weather forecast, was take stock of my freezer. I buy meal and fish on sale throughout the year just for winter snaps like this, and I found I had:

  • 2 pk. of thick-cut pork chops
  • 3 lbs. of ground beef
  • 2 lbs. of ground turkey
  • a bag of shrimp
  • 1 lb. stew meat
  • tilapia filets

Thus, you can see why my menu is a bit meat heavy! Well that, and I’m having a colonoscopy next week. To prep for that, I have to stop my vitamins tomorrow, and since I”m anemic, I want to be loading up on the meat for the iron, and eating lots of iron-rich things. So GO MEAT. 🙂

So, I suggest taking stock of the freezer, writing down what you have, and then meal planning from that, if you’re in a “I need to shop quickly and cheaply” situation, because you might be like me and find many nice things!

Fitness::

Like I said, yoga today. Last week I exercised four days in a  row and lost two pounds. Yay! So since it’s going to be so cold, it’s going to be at home workouts until at least Friday. So I’m thinking yoga, ballet beautiful, and things like that, and I do have some small dumbbells here, so I can do some weight training to fill in any gaps, although I doubt there will be any. Yoga is great for giving your arms and core a workout.

In the CD player::

The film soundtrack to Mary Poppins. Singing along to “Sister Suffragette” is fun. But since Christmas isn’t over by the Breviary until Sunday–and the old calendar until Candlemas, which is February Second! –the Christmas music is still in rotation.

Photo::

IMG_0598

Christmas Train set. Pretty, no?

Outside my window::

Seven Quick Takes No. 61

Seven Quick Takes No. 61

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I.

This week felt like it flew by.It’s that time of year again, when it just gets closer to Christmas and there’s so much to DO and not enough time to do it! Totally the theory of relativity, right? As a kid, you remember these days going so slowly. And now? Gone so quickly. It’s amazing.

II.

This is partially because there’s a lot going on–tomorrow I’m going to a Penguins/Jackets game with my parents (in which I will be happy with the outcome, because one team I love will win!). On Sunday, it’s the last CCD class before the break, which basically means a video on St. Nicholas and bingo games; then we have a catechist meeting; then there’s a Third Order meeting which concludes with life promises (EEEEK), and then dinner with Mary and lessons and carols at my parish. WHEW. And Monday I have a doctor appointment with all that attends that, and an audition that night.

III.

So, life promises. Yes. Basically, this means I’m a Lay Dominican forever and ever (amen), I promise to live by the rule of St. Dominic for the rest of my life, and be a good Lay Dominican. 🙂 The rule requires that I say morning and evening prayer of the liturgy of the hours, attend Mass as often as possible during the week, go to confession once a month, say a daily rosary, and perform individual religious study. None of these are bound by pain of sin. If I miss vespers one day or something, it’s not a thing I need to confess. But these are the “pillars”, so to speak, of my life, forever, after Sunday. I’ve been in formation for five+ years now, and I’m so glad to be making this final step.

IV.

My Christmas shopping, however, is 98% finished. I still have to get something for two more people, who are hard to shop for. Sigh. I’m hoping to come up with magic inspiration over the next week.

V.

My 2015 calendar is starting to fill up–January has good things (a Symphony concert!) and some unfun/fun things–a colonoscopy (Oh YAY!). Yes, my friends, I need to have one, and the hospital, of course, is freaking because I have a PORT, and we’re going to USE IT, and OH MY GOSH!

Really, guys, it’s not that hard. They don’t even have to access me–mom can do it. All they have to do is push the lovely happy meds into the tube. I do not understand the freak out. It’s an adult hospital I’m going to, but they treat cancer patients, so a port isn’t some exotic medical things they’ve never seen. Sigh. I guess it’ll be a “teachable moment” for them. AS long as they don’t break the port, I don’t care. Just give me the fun meds and do what you have to do, doc.

VI.

in 2015, revision on THE BOOK will begin in earnest. Yes. I have left the draft alone for a few months, I’ve gotten some feedback from my beta readers, and in January it will be time to start massaging it into shape again, and bring out the long knife of editing. Oh yes, my friends. The knife is coming out!

VII.

Next week has two of my favorite days! JANE DAY, her birthday, on Dec. 16, in which we shall all drink tea, watch the Wet Shirt video, and read her books, and Dec. 17, which is Beethoven Day (it’s the day Beethoven was Baptized.) Such great genius!  They were born five years apart (Beethoven in 1700, Jane in 1775), and died ten years apart (Jane in July 1817, Beethoven in March 1827). So on Beethoven Day we will listen to much Beethoven and rejoice in his genius. (Yes, he’s my favorite composer, why do you ask?)

HipsterBeethoven-51735

(Side note: people: stop using this to mean “pounds.” I See it all the time: “The fish was 8#!” REALLY?!?!?!)

Birthday_thumb8

Seven Quick Take Friday No. 59

7_quick_takes_sm1

I.

Well, I guess it’s Officially Winter in Ohio. We had the first snow of the season yesterday. Nothing stuck (unlike near Cleveland, where they got inches of lake effect), so it was the snow I like. The kind that doesn’t stick. 😛 But it is definitely heavy coat season and “find my gloves” season now.

II.

We’ve had radio silence over here (except for my Interstellar review), mostly because of NaNoWriMo. I’m about halfway to the 50K word goal. This novel has been hard, pacing wise–there’s a big, seminal event that sets off the big things in my novel and I’m not sure when to make that event happen. I’m trying to time it right. This is a novel that would HAVE to be more than 50,000 words, because there’s a lot I have planned in my head. It’s just a question of getting it down in the document. (NaNo novels can be over 50K–50K is the minimum word count to “win”.)

III.

I’ve started Christmas shopping–I’m actually almost done for my parents–but now I have to wrap the gifts. Yeah, I’m not so great at wrapping….but at least I have pretty paper! And then there’s people who haven’t told me what they want yet. Sometimes I try to get something on my own, and some people I like to be told what to get them. I also have to start writing out the Christmas cards. They’re bought, but I haven’t started writing them out at all.

IV.

I have, however, done my Advent prep. 🙂 I bought new Advent candles for the wreath yesterday and I’ve got my Advent books all prepared. That’s going to be a post next week, I promise, because I love my Advent books and I try to share them with lots of people. 🙂

V.

I am SO EXCITED about the Edel Gathering! I’ve already booked the room in Charleston, and tickets go on sale next week. Will I see you there?

VI.

When do you put your tree up? I generally put mine up the Day of the OSU/Michigan game, because that’s usually the week before Thanksgiving. I know some people who have it up NOW, and my mom usually puts it up after Thanksgiving. When I was a kid, we put it up the first weekend in December, the same weekend as the parish bazaar. Now it’s sort of whenever mom and dad want to, since none of us live at home anymore. 🙂

VII.

Reading: Traveling to Infinity by Jane Hawking, which is the basis for the new movie The Theory of Everything, which I cannot WAIIIIITTTT to see!!!! Between this book and Interstellar I’ve been thinking a lot about space this week!

Daybook No. 78

Outside my window::

Sunny with some clouds, and definitely seasonal–it was almost 80 on Monday and we might have snow this weekend. The weather is ALL OVER THE PLACE!

Wearing::

red cashmere sweater, jeans, grey flats.

Reading::

The Hummingbird’s Daughter, Little Town on the PrairieLeaving Time (again).

Pondering::

“In our culture, the concept of hospitality has lost much of its power and is often used in circles where we are more prone to expect a watered down piety than a serious search for authentic Christian spirituality. But still, if there is any concept worth restoring to its original depth and evocative potential, it is the concept of hospitality. It is one of the riches biblical terms that can deepen and broaden our insight in our relationships to our fellow human beings.”
– Henri Nouwen, Reaching Out

Creativity::

Working on this knitting project.

Writing::

NaNoWriMo 2014 is only days away! Yayyyy!!!!  I am really excited for this year’s novel, and I’m doing some research this week.

Around the house::

Dishes and polishing the furniture in the living/family room.

From the kitchen::

Having a friend over for dinner on Saturday so I am planning that meal, as well as reading Ina Garten’s new cookbook (LOVE)! Dinner with my parents tonight and then fending for myself tomorrow and Friday, so I need to figure out what to make!

Fitness::

Back to the gym. I am finally feeling better and getting up at a decent time, so I’m glad to be back there. (Never thought I’d say that!)

Plans for the week::

Dinner and movie night on Saturday; CCD and brunch with my brother on Sunday.